Thursday, April 26, 2007

Artichoke Phyllo Pie

I hosted a birthday brunch this past weekend, and this Artichoke Phyllo Pie was the favorite recipe, probably because of the cheese and butter content. The amazing quality to this pie is actually the small amount of broccoli added, which enhances the flavor of the artichokes. I even had a guest who hates broccoli but loves this dish. One guest said that this was the "best thing ever!" I warn you though, it IS fattening and should only be prepared when serving a large group of guests. Otherwise, you'll be tempted to eat it all! I have to thank one of my favorite cookbooks for this recipe, Heaven's Banquet.

Artichoke Phyllo Pie

Artichoke Phyllo Pie
Serves 10-12

Vegetable Ingredients

1 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups thinly sliced fennel or celery
1 cup finely chopped broccoli florets
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
Bragg's amino acids or salt

Filling Ingredients
1 pounds ricotta cheese
2 cups grated Gruyere or Swiss Cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoon cornstarch or arrowroot
2 1/2 cups sliced, cooked artichoke hearts (I used the frozen ones and let them thaw)
Black pepper

Pastry Ingredients
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup olive oil
1 pound filo pastry

To prepare the filling:
Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Add the fennel or celery, broccoli, and parsley. Sprinkle liquid seasoning or salt, cover, and saute on low heat until tender, stirring occasionally (about 15 minutes).

Mix together the ricotta, grated cheeses, and arrowroot or cornstarch. Mix in the sauteed vegetables and the artichoke hearts. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

To assemble the pie:
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F (150 C). Melt the butter with the olive oil over low heat. Using a pastry brush, coat the bottom and sides of a 10 or 12-inch springform pan with the oil mixture. Lay a sheet of filo in the pan, draping the edges of the pastry over the sides. Brush with a few gentle swipes of the oil. Lay another sheet of filo in the pan with the long edges drapes in another direction. Continue to fill the pan with filo, brushing each sheet with the oil, until half the pastry has been used.

Spoon the filling inside and spread evenly.

Lay the remaining sheets of filo on top, brushing each sheet with the oil. Turn up all the edges over the pie. It should look rough and rustic. If there is any remaining oil, pour a little over the top.

Bake until the filo is golden brown, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Allow to stand at room temperature for about 15 minutes. Undo the sides of the springform. I serve the pie on the bottom of the springform pan and on another plate. To serve, cut into wedges with a serrated knife.

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